Blog Entry

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:08 am
Edited on: November 9, 2011 12:52 pm

There is growing support toward eliminating automatic qualifier status in the next evolution of college football’s postseason according to Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas.

The concept has been discussed informally among the game’s power brokers and would represent a fundamental shift in the way the sport’s postseason is administrated. Neinas supports the change because he said eliminating the so-called “AQ” status would slow or stop conference realignment.

“I think there is growing sentiment to eliminate the automatic qualification part of the BCS,” Neinas told this week. “You can see what’s happening. They [conferences] are gerrymandering all over the place under the intent to maintain an automatic qualification. History has shown you don’t need that if you are qualified.”

Removing AQ status would, in part, continue to benefit the power conferences who are currently bound by a two-team limit in the BCS. But it would also allow so-called non-AQs a more consistent, fair entry into the BCS. No changes would take effect until the 2014 season.

There are currently 10 slots among the five BCS bowls. One discussed configuration would allow the top 10 teams in the final BCS standings at the end of the season to play in BCS bowls no matter what conference affiliation. For example, if the Big Ten or SEC had three or more teams in the top 10, all those schools would get BCS bowls.

It’s not clear what the Rose Bowl’s stance is on the issue. It is known the Rose wants to keep its Pac-12-Big Ten game as often as possible. Eliminating AQ status may be the interim step between the BCS and a playoff. Various officials from four of the six BCS leagues have been in favor of at least a plus-one model at one time or another in the last three years.

The changes supported by Neinas wouldn’t occur until after the 2014 bowls when the current BCS deal expires with ESPN. Commissioners and ADs will discuss the changes as part of their next BCS meeting Monday in San Francisco.

“I imagine it will be one of many things they will be talking about," said Bill Hancock, BCS executive director. "It’s really premature to speculate about what the group might do."

The game’s administrators will have to have a new model going forward when ESPN reaches its exclusive negotiating window in October.

It’s not clear how much support there among commissioners. It would seem that at least the ACC and Big East would be against change. The ACC champion has finished out of the top 10 three of the last four seasons. Both leagues failed to have a team in the top 10 team at the end of last season.

It’s also not clear how money would be divided. Currently, 85 percent of the BCS bowl take is divided among the six power conferences. Last year approximately $200 million was made off the BCS bowls. If one of the six major conferences is not guaranteed a BCS bowl that could change the distribution model and potentially be a deal breaker.

Those six power conference champions – SEC, ACC, Big East, Big 12, Pac-12, Big Ten – are guaranteed a BCS bowl. The champions of the five non-AQ leagues – MAC, WAC, Conference USA, Sun Belt, Mountain West – are not. The best schools in those leagues must meet a set of benchmarks to get in.

Using the final 2010 standings as example going forward, the Big East (UConn, out of the BCS top 25) and ACC (Virginia Tech, No. 13) would not have had a BCS team because those conferences champions finished out of the top 10. The Big Ten would have had three teams – Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State.

In that configuration schools like Missouri (2007), Texas Tech (2008), Boise State (2008, 2010), Iowa (2009), Georgia Tech (2009) and Michigan State (2010) would have made BCS bowls simply by finishing in the top 10.

To date the Big Ten has played in the most BCS bowls, 23. The SEC is second with 21.

Neinas said he senses support for the change among his peers. The scramble for automatic qualification has affected three of the six BCS leagues just in the last couple of months. TCU and West Virginia joined the Big 12, in part fearing instability in the Big East. Syracuse and Pittsburgh joined the ACC for the same reason. Meanwhile, the Big East is trying to reconstitute itself to be a BCS league going forward.

Commissioners will have to decide if the Big East even merits AQ status if the system remains the same. It currently has that status because of a waiver granted by BCS commissioners in 2008.

“You can make it on your merit without having to be in an automatic qualifying situation,” Neinas said. “That would solve some problems here with people just scrambling because they think they have to take in certain institutions. Let’s eliminate automatic qualification. If you merit it, you’re in …

“The point is, then you wouldn’t have this effort to cobble together a conference for the purpose of automatic qualification.”

Neinas also said he senses “strong sentiment” for conferences to remain with current membership until 2013. That would mean Syracuse and Pittsburgh would remain in the ACC, Missouri and Texas A&M would remain in the Big 12 and West Virginia and TCU would remain in the Big East.

The Big 12 is in a state flux with its television partners (ESPN, Fox) because it needs at least 10 members in 2012 for its payout not to be affected, Neinas said.

“We have to provide inventory to our TV partners and also we have some bowl partners,” he said. “Of course the major problem is scheduling.”

West Virginia has been sued by the Big East to fulfill its obligation to give 27 months notice before leaving the league. Big 12 sources are upset that Missouri intends to leave by July 1, 2012. Neinas remarked that it was “awful short notice” by the school.

Both Texas A&M and Missouri are still haggling with the Big 12 over exit fees owed to the conference. Those fees could range from $15 million-$30 million per school according to reports.

If both Missouri and West Virginia aren’t in the league in 2012, that would leave only nine members. With only nine members, each Big 12 team would have to find another non-conference game on short notice for 2012.

Asked if he expected Missouri to be in the league next year, Neinas said, “That would be nice, sure. Is that possible? I don’t know.”

He was then asked if there is any sentiment within the league for legal action against Missouri, Neinas said, “I don’t’ think I’ll comment on that.”


Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 7:53 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Texas and OU flirting with over conferences was BEFORE Neinas was the commish.  One of the terms of those teams (esp OU) staying was geting rid of Dan Beebe.  So, he is not a hypocrite on that end.  Now, with WVU....he is not a hypocrite either.  His job is to do what is in the best interest of the Big12 conference.  He still may be of the opinion that conference realignment is ruining the game, but he still has to do his job.

Since: Oct 12, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2011 7:44 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

if they insist on having the bcs system then they could use the top 8 or 10 spotsof the bcs rankings for a playoff berths regardless of conference

Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: November 9, 2011 7:37 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

They [conferences] are gerrymandering all over the place
What did the Big 12 just do adding West Virginia?  Or Texas and Oklahoma talking to the ACC or Pac 12.  This guy is a complete hypocrite and a joke. 

Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 6:57 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

That's not enough of a change to bring me back as a fan of college football.  Get rid of polls, computers, bids, and bowl games.  Go to 8 conferences or 4 superconferences with 8 divisions, then have a playoff of those conference/division champions, and I start watching games again.

Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 6:55 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

I am all for regional conferences again

ACC east coast
B1G midwest
SEC southeast
Big 12 great plains
MWC mountains
PAC 12 west coast

but it is too late for that

Since: Oct 31, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 6:47 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

The only thing I can smell from this article is Neunass is so disparete for Big XII's TV contract, so try being sqeeky break. He is hoping to let ESPN and have nots hear the magic word, "there ain't no more AQ status." He wants to either destroy Big East's expantion plan so WVU can join them next year, or have Mizzou come back to little hoa house in Texas.
Well, nice try but way too short on wisdum. ESPN and BCS will continue to milk out money out of college sports, but not as you wishLaughing

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 9, 2011 6:22 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

@ crimson Tide do you speak English.
The big East and the ACC just are not great football schools. The BCS should just go away the heck with espn their greed is the driving force behind this horse and pony show. If you are in the top 10 ranked schools you should be so called AQ. The big East is trying to ruin every other conference in the Nation. Conferences should be regional not 2000 miles apart. The SEC is the southeast. Big 10 across the Midwest, big 12 southern, PAC 12 western, ACC east coast, the big East should be just that. Mountain West along with conference USA. If your a top 10 school their are 5 bowls waiting for you. Since no one wants a playoff.

Since: Oct 15, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 5:39 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

 just would not happen , the history behind the conference champions going to a major bowl is to strong .

the winner of the B-10 , ACC , P -12 , B -12 ?  left out of a major bowl , won't happen

as you can see i left the sec out of this , but one could see an 9-3 / 8-4 sec champ based on schedule ( they all beat each other up that year )   

the bsc is trying to bite off more than it can chew     

Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2011 4:58 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

Every other division of football already has a playoff.

The FCS playoff format is 16 teams, with eight teams being automatic qualifiers as conference champions, and eight at-large berths are awarded. The tournament field is selected by a NCAA appointed committee made up of athletic directors from select FCS schools that represent each region of the country.

The top four teams in the playoff field are seeded 1-4, and are automatically granted hosting rights to every game they play as long as their seed holds up. The FCS Championship is played at a pre determined neutral site (Chattanooga, TN).

The rest of the 12 teams in the field are unseeded, and teams are usually matched up based on regional proximity, with hosting rights granted based on bidding and projected gate receipts, as well as record, conference affiliation and strength of schedule. If two unseeded teams meet in subsequent rounds of the playoff tournament, the team that presents the highest monetary bid to the NCAA is awarded hosting rights.
In the FCS system, only 2 teams play 1 more game than in the current BCS. The rest play teh same or less gaems each season. With teh way the major teams schedule scrub opponents for OOC games ... this would just trim teh fat off of the curretn schedule and add games that actually mean something and take the National Championship back to the field and out of the offices of the media.

Since: Jan 20, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2011 4:02 pm

B12 commish senses big change in BCS

I'm all for a playoff format, as I think most of us fans are. But the 5 major bowl committees have a lot of power, influence and most importantly, money. This is a huge hurdle. The problem I see in a bracketed format is the amount of games needed to determine the champion. Someone mentioned 12 teams, two brackets. That would mean 4 teams get first round byes, just like the NFL. I don't see that happening. The 16 team format sounds awesome on paper, but by the time you get to the Championship Game, the two teams (assuming they played in a conference championship, 13 game regular season), will be playing their 17th game. That is never going to happen. I truly think the best we can ever hope for is a plus-one game. Frankly, that would be better than what we have now.
Keep the 5th Bowl "National Championship" Game, and then have another poll ranking after that game. Only the 10 teams in the top 5 bowls qualify for the plus-one, and no computers involved. The new 1 and 2 play for it all.
Or, drop the 5th Bowl and have the Top 8 teams play in three second-tier bowls, plus one of the majors in a 1-8, 4-5, 2-7, 3-6 format.
Then, the Sugar, Orange, Fiesta and Rose will switch off each year, one getting a first round matchup, two get the semifinals, and one gets the National Championship.
Alternatively, add the next three major bowls (money-wise) to the equation and you have 7 major bowls taking turns, with the lower three always getting a first round game. There would still be two teams playing 16 games, but one can only hope. Either way, I can't see a playoff consisting of more than 8 teams; it's just too many games and would last until February.

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